This spot seemed to belong to DeMarcus Cousins, and in some respects, Monroe is the anti-Cousins. If Cousins had been off the board at No. 5, the Kings probably would have taken Monroe, so this has worked out beautifully for Detroit. To start the season, Monroe lacked assertiveness, but he quietly ramped up his production while keeping mistakes at a minimum, another contrast with Cousins. He has become a consistent force with upside — he’s just 20 years old.
Monroe is a lock to make the actual All-Rookie team, which doesn’t specify positions. To make Thorpe’s All-Rookie team, which designates positions, over DeMarcus Cousins is a little more impressive.
However, Monroe didn’t make Thorpe’s list of the five rookies with the most promising futures. John Wall, Blake Griffin, Derrick Favors, Patrick Patterson and DeMarcus Cousins did. I get Wall, Griffin and Cousins. I’d say Monroe is about equal with Favors. But Patterson? C’mon.
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